This upper west side branch of the famous bakery was blissfully quiet the weekend we dropped in. No queues! No crowds! A row of tables by the windows leave ample room for strollers to be parked while you enjoy a delicious cupcake or banana pudding. It’s worth noting that we came by with friends and three babies all under the age of 1.5, and managed to have a relaxed morning tea here. A miracle by any parent’s standard!
Highchairs: No, but you can park your stroller at the tables. Stroller storage: No. Easy access: Yes – there is a ramp entrance. Change tables: No. Kids’ menu: No. Baby-friendly rating: ♥♥—
This casual, seasonal restaurant (only open when the weather is warm enough) is perfect for families and mother’s groups to meet up during the week or on weekends. Located on the riverfront, the space is huge, so plenty of room for giant strollers and large groups, particularly on weekdays. No need to worry about fussy babies here – the open-air environment absorbs the worst of the noise. Since the restaurant opens up onto the Riverside Park walkway, you can get up and stroll cranky babies whenever needed without leaving your group.
Highchairs: Yes. Stroller storage: Lots of space for strollers. Easy access: Yes. Change tables: No (there are lots of park benches nearby where babies can be changed however). Kids’ menu: Yes. Kid-friendly rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
PIER i CAFÉ
500 W 70th Street (in Riverside Park South)
New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 362 4450
PIER i CAFÉ will open any day above 65 degrees, from May 1st to mid-October (weather permitting).
Monday – Friday: 8AM – 5PM
Saturday & Sunday: 8AM – 4PM
While kids and teenagers on the ground floor whirl around the self-serve candy bar, minutes away from a sugar coma, upstairs is a bright, pastel haven where you and your little ones can sit in giant life-sized cupcake booths (excellent privacy for nursing mothers) and chug down sweet candy-themed cocktails from the bar. Savoury food is limited to pizza and build-your-own deluxe peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (add-ins include things like rice krispie treats, so this isn’t your typical sandwich). Their speciality is, of course, desserts, so be prepared for a sugar-high pretty much as soon as you walk in the door.
Highchairs: Yes. Stroller storage: No – but there is plenty of room for strollers to wheel around or sit at your table with you. Easy access: Yes – an elevator to the 2nd floor where the cafe is housed. Change tables: Yes. Kids’ menu: No – but most older kids will eat pretty much anything on the menu. Ice-cream – hello? Kid-friendly rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Dylan’s Candy Bar
1011 3rd Avenue at 60th street,
New York, NY 10065
Phone: (646) 735 0078
A place this cute and kitschy screams child-friendly – until you read the sign on the door that reads “Absolutely no strollers or carriages allowed in the restaurant”. The decor, with oversized clocks and stained glass lamps, is a vision out of Wonderland – but this land is for big kids, not toddlers and babies. When asked if they have highchairs, the server responds with a no – adding they have booster chairs however, which they don’t recommend we use because they’re not safe.
The tables are small and squished together, making it difficult to hold infants on your lap. Add to that slow service and a potential long wait for a table (half an hour on weekdays, up to an hour on weekends), and you’ve got a place that is best left till the kids are a lot older.
The redeeming feature of Serendipity 3 is that their meals are tasty and large portioned, including their speciality Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, which is large enough for four people to share.
Highchairs: No. Stroller storage: No Easy access: No – several stairs down into the restaurant, plus two flights of steep stairs if your table is in the upstairs section. Change tables: No. Kids’ menu: No. Kid-friendly rating: –—-
225 East 60th Street
between 2nd and 3rd Avenues
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 838 3531
Serendipity 3 accepts a limited amount of reservations for lunch and dinner only, not for desserts. To make a reservation for lunch or dinner please call (212) 838 3531.
Sun-Thur 11:30am to midnight
Friday 11:30am to 1:00am
Saturday 11:30am to 2:00am
The new food hall under The Plaza has more than 20 bright kiosks and stalls including Billy’s Bakery, La Maison du Chocolat, Tartinery, Sant Ambroeus desserts, Lady M Cake Boutique, Luke’s Lobster and Sushi of Gari. The cheerful environment is perfect for families to stop by for brunch, lunch or an early dinner. Little girls will love playing in the Eloise store, and your toddler can happily charge around the seating area without drawing disapproving glances from other diners.
Highchairs: Yes. Stroller storage: Lots of space for strollers. Easy access: Yes – there is elevator access to the food hall level. Change tables: Yes. Kids’ menu: No. Kid-friendly rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
A little girl’s dream come true, this cafe chain is heaven for kids and adults alike. Delightful scones, a large menu of tea and whimsical decor make this a fun place to eat. While it’s definitely kid-friendly, it’s not so great for young toddlers and babies. On weekends there is a long wait (usually an hour), no reservations, and slow service.
Highchairs: Yes – a limited amount however. We were told during one visit that if wanted a table with a high chair it would be an additional wait time. Stroller storage: Limited space. Bring a stroller that folds up if possible. Easy access: No – lots of steps. Change tables: Yes. Kids’ menu: Yes. Kid-friendly rating: ♥♥♥–
Hipster babies rejoice – they, too, can brunch in trendy SoHo at Public. While not a hugely family-friendly venue, they do have high chairs and are very accommodating to babies. Great food (lamingtons!) and atmosphere – a perfect choice for brunch with friends who aren’t into the regular family-restaurant scene. No reservations for brunch, so arrive when they open to be seated first.
You don’t get more family friendly than the Bubby’s restaurants. The TriBeCa branch is a bit more upmarket than its Brooklyn sibling, but also has less space. Tables are a bit crowded together, making for a squished dining experience. A bright, rowdy atmosphere makes it fab for families. Take the kids to the nearby Hudson River Greenway afterwards to run around.
Highchairs: Yes. Stroller storage: Yes. Stroller parking is outside the restaurant – be prepared to leave it on the street. Easy access: Yes. Change tables: Yes. Kids’ menu: Yes. Kids-friendly rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
120 Hudson St, New York 10013
(At N Moore St)
Phone: (212) 219 0666